• Membrane insertion and secretion of the Engrailed-2 (EN2) transcription factor by prostate cancer cells may induce antiviral activity in the stroma

      Punia, N.; Primon, Monika; Simpson, G.R.; Pandha, H.S.; Morgan, Richard (2019-03)
      Engrailed-2 (EN2) is a homeodomain-containing transcription factor that has roles in boundary formation and neural guidance in early development, but which is also expressed in a range of cancers. In addition to transcriptional regulation, it is secreted by cells and taken up by others through a mechanism that is yet to be fully elucidated. In this study, the distribution of EN2 protein in cells was evaluated using immunofluorescence with a set of antibodies raised against overlapping epitopes across the protein, and through the use of an EN2-GFP construct. MX2 expression in primary prostate tumors was evaluated using immunohistochemistry. We showed that EN2 protein is present in the cell membrane and within microvesicles that can be secreted from the cell and taken up by others. When taken up by normal cells from the stroma EN2 induces the expression of MX2 (MxB), a protein that has a key role in the innate immune response to viruses. Our findings indicate that EN2 secretion by tumors may be a means of preventing viral-mediated immune invasion of tissue immediately adjacent to the tumor.